The country’s main electricity producer has extended an open invitation to Bitcoin miners interested in using its renewable energy facility near Nairobi.
KenGen, a Kenyan energy company, has invited Bitcoin miners to relocate nearby and purchase excess renewable energy capacity.
KenGen claims that 86% of its energy comes from renewable sources, primarily geothermal heat pockets in the Great Rift Valley. The Standard reported that KenGen has space available for rent at its new industrial park in Olkaria, near its flagship geothermal power station, for Bitcoin (BTC) miners.
The Acting Director of geothermal development at KenGen Peketsa Mwangi said that his company was willing and eager to have the miners call Kenya home.
“We’ll have them here because we have the space and the power is near, which helps with stability.” Despite his enthusiasm, there have not yet been any reports of miners looking to go to Kenya.
Cambridge’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) suggest that the eastern African nation currently houses no known Bitcoin mining operations, but it appears to be ideal for miners due to the region’s estimated potential 10,000 MegaWatt (MW) of geothermal energy capacity.
It may also increase demand for additional development in KenGen’s power grid, thereby increasing total supply and lowering costs. According to Statista, Kenya currently has the world’s 12th most expensive electricity, with a one-kilowatt hour (KWh) costing about R3,39.
The country’s high electricity costs could be attributed to its low electrification rate. According to the World Bank, by 2020, only about 70% of the population will have access to the centralized grid. According to Energypedia, Kenya’s high cost of connecting to the grid is a “major impediment” to its expansion.
The Kenyan government could also benefit from increased revenue from miners’ fees and even taxes. The Kazakhstan government, for example, expects to earn up to R23 billion in revenue from miners over the next five years (despite earning only R23 million in Q1 of 2022).
Kenya has a particularly high rate of crypto adoption due to the volume of peer-to-peer transactions.
Since last year, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has been investigating the possibility of a central bank digital currency. In February, CBK cited lower fees and faster transfer rates as advantages of using a CBDC.